Comparing this trade to the last Ennis Punisher work I reviewed is like night and day. Everything I complained about isn’t here and instead the reader finds a powerful, well crafted story of horror and despair. In this, the vigilante, The Punisher, hunts down a group of foreign criminals who have a sex slave industry. The characters show depth as they attempt to deal with the realities of the corruption around them and Leandro Fernandez’s art is dark and brooding as opposed to cartoony and makes for a starker narrative. Instead of a silly story involving titillation and poop, Ennis shows he is, indeed, skilled by forcing us to view the international tragedy of a so called victimless crime.
Category Archive: Comic Review
Nov 08 2013
Nov 02 2013
The mob boss, Ma Gnucci, that vigilante, The Punisher, killed seems to have returned for round two. Typical of Ennis, the work is heavy on murder scenes, dick attacks, poop jokes, and some sexuality just to round things off, but weak on character and intrigue. Just as typical it is ok, just not that good and definitely weaker than the original tale.
Oct 31 2013
This title, cut short due to a problem between DC comics and the creators, consists of Dead to the World, uVampire, Six Feet Under and Rising, and Repossession. Originally I avoid reading this because I read an excerpt and thought “ug, another zombie book,” but Roberson takes that idea and runs with it producing a straight take on the ridiculous. The comic is about a group of monsters (zombies, ghosts, were-creatures, vampires, mummies, etc) going through their daily routines and either saving or attempting to destroy the world–you know, typical stuff. While done in a serious way, the comic is funny and silly and just a really nice read. That’s not to suggest there aren’t problems and leaps in the story’s logic, yet you tend to get wrapped up enough to not mind. Sadly, this doesn’t last.
This was suppose to run eight volumes (or was it 80 issues?), which I doubt would have worked either way, but it definitely should have lasted a few more issues to better end it for the sake of all (creators and readers). As is, the final trade is a rushed mess that destroys the enjoyment, all the more a shame as it could have been so very good.
Oct 24 2013
Somehow, like a zombie Apocalypse, no one stopped this when they could and it spread. I hate this tale of a Marvel universe where the superheroes are now zombies. Some people must find it funny, but they and Kirkman need to be contained. In the meantime read Cej’s review.
Oct 20 2013
More of an idea than a story, this short comic is the tale of a (literally) poisonous woman traveling around to find herself. With its unnecessarily purple prose and lack of fully developed characters and plot, I like it more for its great potential than for actual product.
Oct 18 2013
This is a very cute little book about a little girl possessed by a demon, who is kidnaped and put in a private home filled with various other supernatural spirits for the viewing pleasure of an eccentric old collector. I enjoyed Fawkes’s comic and I’m pretty sure I’ve encountered some of his very different work before, but I’m not really sure how to label this. It is too disturbing to be a kids comic and too cute for a straight adult book.
Oct 14 2013
Listen, you can’t just stick the name Cthulhu on something and declare it a Lovercraftian tale of horror and madness. Disappointing.
Oct 10 2013
I’m impressed with Self Made Hero’s line of Lovecraft adaptations (more reviews will eventually be here), and while this collection of Lovecraft’s horror stories don’t have the full elegance of his writing, the various artists and adaptors did an excellent job providing the readers with enough information coupled with visuals to bring his weird fiction to life. Try it!
Oct 07 2013
The problem with this work is that the adaptations fall significantly short of the originals. In the poem, “The Raven,” all that occurs is some illustrations to go along with the plot, which isn’t very innovative. It gets worse as the remainders just destroy the magic and power of Poe’s stories (as if these various writers could ever compare with him). The only one that is close to an exception is Jamie Delano and Steve Pugh’s (although I’m not thrilled with his art) version of “The Pit and The Pendulum.” Here they relate the story to prisoners in the war on terror(ism), which is a powerful statement. Sadly, they cut the story down so it loses some impact.
Oct 04 2013
I loved this comic the first time it came out, wow, what? some two decades ago?! And I still love it. That’s probably why the series was canceled both times. Sigh, there is no justice, but there is irony as the story constantly ending is about a man who can’t die. Dr. David Kim got himself injected with nanomachines that keep him alive no matter what (pay attention to that last part). For a tale about a technological marvel, the series deals with bizarre magic that is taking place in the shadows of our world. It is filled with weird, fun, and engaging characters and situations and I can’t understand why it isn’t–or rather wasn’t– incredibly popular.
Oct 01 2013
The self titled collection along with Shadowland: Power Man and Shadowland: Blood on the Streets have two things in common. One, they deal with the fall-out of the blind vigilante, Daredevil, joining up with the Hand ninja clan to take over part of Manhattan and how NYC heroes deal with the situation. Two, they suck.
Sep 25 2013
I am impressed. Take a title I never gave two figs about and pact it full of characters I don’t think most people ever heard of and the end result is a well written tale of rounded characters and a rather clever plot. I so enjoyed this comic that I’m sure was canceled.
Sep 21 2013
First off: This title has been around for over 150 issues?! Ok, so I’m not going to say that this is a great comic. It doesn’t have character depth and the plot is rather straightforward: mostly C/D list bad guys in a rehab program wherein they fight other bad guys without a larger arc; however, I REALLY enjoyed it. There was something just fun about seeing guys like Juggernaut and Man-Thing take on monsters, and the slight Mignola-ish style of the art (by Kev Walker and Declan Shalvey) works well with it (note: they still make their women typical of the supermodel body type, so maybe you will find that a plus too).
Sep 18 2013
Neat idea: plague gets rid of everyone over the age of twelve and an intrepid girl uses her head to save herself, her brother, and her community from starvation and gangs. With all that going on I would think you wouldn’t just want to slap the whole thing together leaving the reading a little flat. So much could have been done and, hey, the original book might just do them.
Sep 12 2013
I grabbed this when I saw it as I have been waiting some time to continue reading Shanower’s epic tale of the Epic tale of the Trojan war (this one, however, based on as much history and mythology as he can find, rather than just one realm or the other). Immediately, I realized that I must never have read part A as I had no memory of the events at all. Still, that could simply be due to the passage of over 5 years as I apparently reviewed it here. Shanower’s work is very well research and has quite the cast of characters, but these positive elements also are its drawbacks. For example, the armor drawn is not what I expect to see and while he is probably correct in his depictions, it always throws me. Furthermore the number of characters you have to remember (and remember their father’s names too as they are often called “son of X” and while yes that is simply like a last name, I often don’t remember my own friends’ last names) is extensive. This collection focused mainly on Troilus and Cressida, which helped some except for the fact that it seemed to end rather abruptly and, honestly, I didn’t find it very interesting. When you have to wait significantly longer than the actual Trojan war to read about the Trojan war, you are going to have some problems.
Sep 11 2013
I both saw this cartoon series as a kid and read most of the comics (which often has advantages over the original show). It’s always interesting to slowly remember scenes and events you had forgotten. The story is set in the “future” (now our actual past) where an unmanned spaceship has crashed on earth leading to a unified humanity prepping for an alien invasion. Sure enough it happens and they are giant humans. Much of the series suffers from the typical problems of early anime: lots of sophomoric writing, girls are icky plots, implied pedophilia, cheesy music, leaps in events that are sloppily put together, and lots of lost opportunities to have actually in-depth characters. Hmmm, perhaps these problems aren’t so limited to early anime. If you are able to put the flaws aside, you can recognize some absolutely groundbreaking work. The cartoon deals with the horrors of war, the problems of reintegrating soldiers into society, depression, alcoholism, unrequited love, dealing with death, military and political machinations and “acceptable” loses, and much more. Additionally, the Robotech series continues over generations so the fallout from events aren’t simply tucked away and ignored.
Sep 04 2013
The Emperor of Ice Cream by Wallace Stevens – illustrated by Mark Lerer & The Little General on Facebook – Mark Lerer
I picked up this two mini comics/zines/or whatever you wish to label them as from a zine fest a couple of weeks ago and wanted to give them mention. Lerer takes a Stevens poem and supplements it, sometimes with funny and/or incongruent, images that are beautifully and lovingly crafted and colored. (Sadly, I know/care nothing about Stevens.) The Little General is Lerer’s comic about, well, a general who is a baby, and Lerer has been occasionally posting him on FB, usually in relation to some events. The problem here is that Lerer has cut out the context of the works, just having a floating baby in a general’s hat with very little around him. I recognize, for example, some lines in the background of one of the comics as being pyramids for when Lerer had the Little General involved in al-Sisi’s coup, but without such complete images the comic itself has little to no meaning. Lerer is creative and a wonderful illustrator and colorist, but he needs to work on the presentation. His books should have prices, info about him and the work, and mentions about other things he’s created if he wants his work to get the recognition they deserve. I would suggest that he teams up with a writer to give him a foundation for things he can use his artistic skills for.
Sep 02 2013
You probably seen the movie by now, but first it was a comic. Considering the cover has two white guys on it indicates that it may be at least slightly different from the film. In any event, two guys rob a bank, only to discover that they are both undercover government agents and that the robbery is the least of their problems. If they want to have a chance to get out of their situations alive they have to work together and unravel the conspiratorial web they are stuck in. It isn’t a bad comic although I felt there were some leaps of internal logic (either you’re a great shot or you can’t hit the guy standing in front of you, pick one) and very little emotional resonance and can totally understand why such a fast paced, action-mystery would make it to the big screen.
Sep 02 2013
It’s Labor Day, so naturally I’m reading comics. I really enjoyed the first volume of Lobster Johnson, and thought it was a one time deal, so naturally I was happy to see this collection. Tonci Zonjic’s art is very nice as it has a simple noir feel to it that works very well here and the plot in general is also nice as it combines mobsters with the supernatural. However, it appears that Mignola and Arcudi are trying to lay the groundwork for a Lobster Johnson mythology through an array of characters, and this simply doesn’t work as the characters are all completely superficial (including our hero) leaving us with nothing to gravitate to. Better to build such background over time. As is this collection is weak as it is merely set up for the next trade.
Aug 30 2013
How could such a perfect comic go so wrong!? Seven British lunatics are recruited to go behind enemy lines and figure out a way of assassinating Hitler. Great, right? And it starts off that way, and then the whole thing just falls apart. I’m convinced the author either started with this awesome plot and then completely ran out of ideas once the group was assembled, and/or the comic was canceled and he had to wrap the whole thing up in like two issues.